Bridge to Practice

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The Bridge to Practice Fellowship program offers paid, post-graduate fellowships with public interest, government and other legal employers for graduating Duke Law students. Created in Spring 2008, the program was designed to assist graduates seeking employment in sectors that do not typically hire until after bar passage. The program also is open to graduating students who have not secured long-term employment by graduation. The goal of the program is to provide graduating students with meaningful, full-time work experiences that will serve as a springboard to long-term positions in the graduate’s desired sector and location.

Bridge to Practice fellowships benefit both employers and graduates: Graduates provide highly skilled support to the employing organization while gaining valuable professional experience and building a professional network. The program draws upon the support and loyalty of the Duke Law Alumni network; fellowships are funded by alumni and other donors, and in many cases alumni serve as mentors or even employers to Bridge Fellows.


Building Bridges.
Creating Connections.

The Bridge to Practice program is helping new graduates navigate a volatile market as they launch their careers in the public sector and beyond.

Laura Bull ’10 credits the Bridge to Practice program with helping her unlock a door that seemed all but stuck: landing her “dream job” as a public defender, right out of law school, during an economic downturn.

“The way the world is now, when you want to do a somewhat specialized job, you only have two options — to have summered there or [to do a] Bridge to Practice,” says Bull, who came to Duke Law with the goal of becoming a public interest lawyer. “These are organizations that don’t hire outsiders, particularly.”

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